A standard for Parliament

Chuck Strahl’s decision to not seek re-election draws to a close a career that has spanned one of the more fascinating periods in Canadian politics.

And it leaves a hole in Ottawa that will be difficult to fill.

Chuck Strahl’s decision to not seek re-election draws to a close a career that has spanned one of the more fascinating periods in Canadian politics.

And it leaves a hole in Ottawa that will be difficult to fill.

Two decades ago, Strahl was one of many Canadians captured by the passion of Preston Manning. That Manning had charisma, anyone who sat in a packed gymnasium to hear him speak would agree. But it was more than the homespun common sense of this son of a former Alberta premier that drew Strahl into politics. It was a shared belief that Canada could be made stronger and more inclusive through change.

Manning was never able to convince a majority of Canadians that his particular vision was right.

But the Reform movement did have an impact.

Manning’s Reformers helped push the ruling Progressive Conservatives from power and to the brink of political oblivion. Strahl was part of the Reform Party caucus that under Manning won 52 seats in Parliament after winning none in the previous election.

Certainly the party had its trials; it never captured sufficient broad-based support in places like Ontario and Quebec, and that frustration eventually cost Manning the party leadership.

But for those who remained in the party as it morphed from Reform, to Alliance, and eventually to the current Conservatives, there continued an unabashed debt to the party’s original leader.

When the party, under Stockwell Day, began to waver from that vision, Strahl was among the sitting MPs who openly challenged the party direction.

It was a messy time, and one that Strahl never seemed publicly comfortable with.

But in the end, he and his fellow dissidents were successful and the party was able to not only reunite, but secure power – something the party has held (albeit tenuously) ever since.

During his years in office, Strahl has served Canada and his constituents with something that goes beyond hard work and dedication – he’s served with class.

At a time when the tone of politics has become increasingly vitriolic, where anger and invective have replaced consensus and debate, Strahl has maintained a reputation for fairness and civil discourse.

Not all may agree with his politics, but few can question the professionalism with which he has undertaken his responsibilities under Canada’s behalf.

He deserves our appreciation.

Greg Knill, Chilliwack Progress

Just Posted

Fraser Valley Bald eagle festival explodes in popularity, draws thousands to Mission, Harrison Mills

Weather, news, social media contribute to high turnout, says president

Two years jail for Chilliwack man caught with six handguns threaded for silencers

Judge rules guns found by Conservation Officer search were to be distributed for a criminal purpose

Wide variety of art for sale at Art from the Heart show

Student art show runs Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre

Murder victim Jagvir Malhi was not involved in gangs, says IHIT

Investigators say Abbotsford man was ‘associated to those involved’ in conflict

Blues group Angel Forrest Trio at Bozzini’s in Chilliwack

Award-winning band from Quebec performs Nov. 28

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Police renew call to ID suspect who pushed Surrey man into traffic near PNE

VPD haven’t received enough tips in the months since

5 to start your day

Police try to thwart retaliation after Hells Angels member killed, criminal investigation at B.C. legislature and more

Watchdog calls for probe into police board spending on former Victoria police chief

Police Complaint Commissioner says accountable and transparent review is in public interest

South Korean named Interpol president in blow to Russia

South Korea’s Kim Jong Yang was elected as Interpol’s president edging out a longtime veteran of Russia’s security services.

E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce sickens 18 people in Ontario, Quebec

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it’s working with U.S. authorities to determine the source of the romaine lettuce those who got ill were exposed to.

Trump defies calls to punish crown prince for writer’s death

The U.S. earlier sanctioned 17 Saudi officials suspected of being responsible for or complicit in the Oct. 2 killing, but members of Congress have called for harsher actions, including cancelling arms sales.

British, EU leaders to meet as Brexit deadline looms

The U.K. and the European Union agreed last week on a 585-page document sealing the terms of Britain’s departure.

Richard Oland was killed ‘in a rage,’ prosecutor tells son’s murder trial

The verdict from Oland’s 2015 murder trial was set aside on appeal in 2016. Richard Oland, 69, was found dead in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011.

Most Read